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Read the Scene First

Updated: May 2, 2023

Most actors, when auditioning for a role, only learn their lines. But, to know your character, and to act out a scene well, you must first know the story. A way you can do this is by reading the script in its entirety.

Before auditioning for a role, often the casting director will send talent what is known as sides. You might be wondering---what are sides?

What are Sides? defines sides (also called audition sides) script sides, or acting sides) are pages from a script that casting directors give to actors to them as part of the audition process for feature films, plays, and television shows. Sides are a portion of the script, typically just a couple of pages culled from one or more scenes. In some cases, sides are original material written for actors to perform in the audition room.

Should I Read the Scene in its Entirety?

Actors should read the scene in its entirety because it will give an actor much greater insight into the motivation behind the creation of your character, and may give you a new perspective on them. Just because you aren’t auditioning for a particular role, does not mean you shouldn’t read the entire scene. When you receive a script, be sure to read over everything, including stage directions and actions.

Secondly, be sure to learn who the writer and director of the script is, so you can have a sense of the project. Lastly, be sure to research past projects to become familiar with their style. According to a post on titled Read the Entire Script Beforehand shares, when you first arrive at an audition the first thing you should do is to read the full script. If it’s not there, ask yourself these questions. Where does the scene take place? What’s the tone? How many characters are in the scene? Are there characters who have dialogue? If it’s mine, how will I stand out?

Third, a blog post titled Why You Should Always Read the Script on, shares Actors are Storytellers, so you need to know the full story. Understanding the flow of the entire script gives your character context, given circumstances. Understanding the given circumstances gives your character, and the characters you are in a relationship with more depth and nuances. It also shares that knowing the full story, will give you all the information you need to play your character.

Can you share any other tips about the Importance of Reading a Scene Before Auditioning? Send us an email to at

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